Every day, people register accounts on new websites and applications. Unless you are subscribing to a newsletter or filling an online form, you will need to come up with a password to secure your account. This password must be secure and at the same time easy to remember. Using easy-to-remember passwords are recommended so that you don’t lose access to your account. A password that is secure and at the same time easy to remember is quite difficult to create. You need to meet certain requirements which include using Capital letters, small letters, and special characters.
What are Some of the Most Common Passwords Today?
When it comes to choosing a password, some people do not care about security, all they want is a password that they can remember, even if they have amnesia. Over the years, some passwords have been consistent and they have formed the most popular passwords on the internet. As you would have guessed, the more popular a password is, the less secured it will be. Hence, the most popular password is the least secure password.
So, what is this most popular password? Everyone wants to set a password that they can remember without racking their brain. The easiest word to remember when a system asks you for your password is “password”. True right? Your password, staring right at you waiting for you to use it. Surprisingly, this is not the most used password. Then what is it? If you are trying to create a password, the chances that you are using a qwerty keypad – whether on your keyboard or mobile device – are very large. When people look at their keyboard, they somehow think that “qwerty” will be a very secure password. And so many internet users use “qwerty” as a password to their account. But that still isn’t the most popular password.
Multiple kinds of research have helped to show that the most used password in the world is “123456”. This easy password has been consistent at the top of the list for many years. Other passwords that have been on this list include “1234567” & “12345678”, “12345”, and “picture”. Another word that has been used more often in the past years is “senha”. Sounds unintelligible but senha is the Portuguese interpretation for password. Some hopeless lovers even use phrases like “Iloveyou” for their passwords. All of these passwords are easy to guess and accounts that these passwords are used for can be easily hacked.
How Passwords Can Be Compromised
Every day, innocent people’s accounts are hijacked because someone somewhere was able to gain access to the account and change the details. Most of the time, it is almost impossible to regain access to these accounts unless you have certain security measures placed on the account. Generally, there are three major ways that hackers use to compromise a person’s password.
- Guess: This is the most common method of compromising a person’s password. People, especially adults, use easy passers like some of the ones listed above. When people try to hack into an account, the first thing they do is to check if the password belongs to the category of the ones mentioned above.
- Crack: When a password cannot be compromised by guessing, the next most conventional way of getting the password is to crack it. Cryptographers and other software geeks have tools for compromising different passwords depending on how secure that the passwords are.
- Stealing: This method is highly deceptive and requires less brain work. You only need to gain access to a file or note where the password has been stored and steal it without the knowledge of the owner.
How to Avoid Using Common Passwords
Employees who use easy passwords can be used as a trojan horse to hack into a company’s security system. To avoid this security breach, many companies have employed the use of Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA) and Single Sign-On (SSO) services to enhance their security. However, there’s a limit to what the company can do to stay secure. A bulk of responsibility still lies in the hands of the employees.
Here are some ways that the use of common passwords can be abolished in personal and business spaces.
- Password Managers: Applications like 1Password or LastPass can help employees to manage passwords and reduce password-related security risks. A password manager helps people to create and store secure passwords. These passwords consist of mixed letters (capital and small letters), numbers, and other special characters. Employees only need to remember only the password to their password manager to get access to all their secure passwords.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) takes longer than regular passwords. You have to answer security questions or take confirmation tests before you gain access to an account. With MFA, a code might be sent to your phone or you can be asked a personal question that no one else knows the answer to.
- Password Generators: A password generator will create a random, highly-secure password for you. We have a great password generator here at Ghost Path that is free for you to use.
- Security Education: Companies can create seminars or public lectures to educate their employees and people who use their services on how to create a secure password. They can also let them know about the risks involved when their account is hacked.
- Unrelated Passwords: It is common for people to use something that relates to them when they want to create a password. Some people use their phone numbers, others use their date of birth, pet name, birth city, and so on. These passwords are easy to guess when the person trying to have your account is someone who knows you. As much as possible, try not to use any password that will lead back to you in any way.
- Lengthy Passwords: The shorter a password is, the easier it is to hack. Even if it contains special characters and numbers. Aim for longer passwords when they are accepted, anywhere from 12 characters and up.
The internet is a wild and very public place, and passwords are the things that keep us private. Using passwords that are easy to guess means that any random person can access your private files and even steal your identity. Companies should incorporate password tests in the account creation process so that users can see how weak or strong a password is before they use it. To improve data security, password policies need to be upgraded and people need to learn that it is important to have a secure password.